Some Simple Steps for Ladder Safety
In order to do some exterior painting or to clean out the rain gutters, many of us will be climbing ladders in the coming weeks. For most, that’s no everyday occurrence, so it always pays to review the steps that make ladder use a little safer. Here are some tips:
- Inspect your ladder before using it. Make sure the rungs are intact, and free of dirt or excessive paint buildup that could interfere with footing.
- Wrap cloth around the tops of the ladder rails to protect the wall and help prevent slipping.
- If the day is wet or windy, wait for better weather.
- No matter what the weather, wear rubber-soled or non-slip footwear.
- When raising the ladder, make sure that the base is level and sits firmly on solid ground.
- Place your ladder at the correct angle. For every nine feet of height up the wall, the base of the ladder should be three feet away from the wall.
- Make sure the ladder reaches at least three feet above the highest level that you want to stand.
- Remove knives, scissors, and other pointed tools from your pockets before climbing the ladder.
- Always face the ladder as you climb and descend.
- While working on the ladder, keep your hips between the rails to maintain stability.
- Keep your ladder away from all power lines, especially if the ladder is made of metal.
- Avoid pushing or pulling too hard on tools while standing on the ladder — it could make you lose your balance or cause the ladder to slide.
Following these ladder safety tips will give you (and your loved ones) some peace of mind while you’re finishing those late-season exterior projects. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!